Category: Social issues


On parenting

I am the first one to admit that as someone who has no children of my own that maybe I’m not the best one to comment on parenting skills of others, however as a child I feel I can be justified in commenting nonetheless.  It’s possible that my opinions might be different had I been blessed with the opportunity to have my own children but that is something I may never know.

This week the video of a father shooting his daughter’s laptop went viral around the Internet (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M7mcyD3IdTY) with much applause by parents it seems.  I, for one, do not share that approval of this man’s actions.

His daughter posted a rant on her Facebook about how she felt she was being treated.  He responds with an angry video in which he shoots her computer with his gun and tells her she is overprivileged and lazy and will have to pay him for the computer, software and the bullets he used.  The message he wants to give is that he worked hard in his life to get where he is and now she is going to have to work hard to get what she wants.  But what is the REAL message he is sending?

The messages he has sent with this video are several:

1.  He feels his daughter is overindulged and has a sense of entitlement.  How did she get that way?  It’s unlikely she woke up one day with this attitude.  No, it is the result of the parenting she received in her life.  She has a cell phone, and iPod, a laptop and it sounds like several other gadgets.  She has no job and they didn’t materialize out of the blue so she got them somehow instead of working to earn them.  She received the rewards BEFORE and NOW he wants her to learn to work for them.  Seems backwards.

2.  She expressed her feelings and he silenced her voice.  Yes, she didn’t do it in the right way but remember she’s 15 and still needs guidance.  Dad has sent the message that when you express yourself someone will exert their power in a violent way to repress you if they don’t like what you say.  He has also showed her that her “safe place” to express herself is no longer her safe place.

3.  Dad has blamed her for being that which he has created through his parenting.  If there is something wrong with a 15-year-old then look to the people responsible for raising and molding the individual and not the result.  When faced with a vicious dog we are more likely to look to the training by the owner than believing that the dog is inherently bad.  So why would we perceive our children as anything different?  Because then we would have to take the responsibility upon ourselves, which is something this dad is not willing to do.

4.  By destroying something that had value and is now garbage, he has shown that instead of turning it into a good thing and giving it to someone less fortunate who would value it more than his daughter, when you’re pissed off you can just destroy the object.  This was just an outlet for his anger, again another poor lesson for his child.

Instead of sitting down with his daughter and finding out why she felt this way and felt the need to vent the way she did and finding out how best to solve the deeper issues involved, dad merely reinforced negative messages to his child.  This was not an enlightened and adult way to teach a child a lesson.  Nothing positive can come out of this, just fear and more anger and resentment.  Dad should have controlled his anger and made a positive example out of this issue.  This will be a lesson that the daughter won’t forget but is it worth the damage that it will cause?  Dad had better hope so.  I hope next time he thinks about the messages he is giving out before he allows his anger issues to take over and further inflame a situation.  Violence never solves an interpersonal issue but understanding does.

Therefore this is why I give this dad an Epic Fail for his actions.  And so should everyone.

On what’s “decent”

Discussion has arrisen in one of my Facebook groups about the cancellation of the Naughty But Nice Show at the Tradex: http://www.theprovince.com/news/Taboo+Naughty+Nice+show+shelved+Abbotsford+opposition/6135000/story.html

My response was thus:
A small portion of the population has the ability to make a decision for the rest of the population.  Of course, the vast majority didn’t even know this was happening.  This is good news in a way for people trying to effect positive change …for if this group can get its way then by rights any group can achieve the same success.  This part of the message is that of hope for the activist.
The rest of the message is that closed minded, judgmental, puritanical, paternalistic attitudes are still okay today.  People seem to be unwilling to see the correlation between this attitude and the “moral degredation” that they so despise.  Repression of the natural human needs, wants and desires leads to unhappiness, depression, addiction and crime, not public shows such as this one.  The morally outraged are usually the most repressed and unhappy individuals out there.
And of course one simple connection is forgotten as well:  the pro-family person has to remember that parents are sexual beings and promoting romance and a healthy sex life leads to babies which makes a FAMILY! 😉
To illustrate my point, from a novel I am reading, set in Victorian times where the characters are debating the merits of a play (which was permitted in a public place by authorties instead of being censored) which explores the so-called “modern ideas” of women’s independence, pursuit of happiness, rejection of being who society wants you to be instead of who you really are:
 -What is it you would like to be protected from?
 -From the corruption of decency, from the steady destruction of our way of life by the praising of immorality and selfishness.  The teaching of young and impressionable people that self-indelgence is acceptable, even good.  The exhibiting in public of emotions and practices which should remain private.  It cheapens and demeans that which should be sacred.
-Is self-denial better than self-indulgence?  But is not one person’s self-denial only the reverse side, the permission, if you like, for another’s self-indulgence?
-Do you think (the play) should be suppressed?
-It subverts decency and family life.
-It questions values.  Must we never do that?  Then how can we grow?  We shall never learn anything or improve upon anything.  Worse than that, we shall never understand other people, and perhaps not ourselves either.  If we do that we are hardly worth the nobility of being human, of having intelligence, freedom of will, or the power of judgment.
-It’s the matter of how they are questioned.
-The image that has the power to disturb is the only one that has the power to change.  Growth is often painful, but to not grow is to begin to die.
-I am sure there are values which are eternal.
-Of course there are.  It is a matter of understanding them, and that is more difficult.  One must test the truth often, or it will become polluted by ignorance and misuse.  It’s like the dusting in a good household.  It has to be done everyday.
It’s a shame that this show has been prevented from happening.  This has set back our society’s growth, learning and understanding to a time we have worked hard and struggled harder against.  THAT is what is indecent and shameful, not the opportunity to learn and share.